18 AUGUST 1939, Page 2

The Future of Croatia

The future of Yugoslavia will be decided as much by her own internal problems as by the strong pressure exerted on her by the Axis ; a settlement of the Croat problem especially is urgently needed if Yugoslavia is to achieve the national unity which is indispensable to every State during the present crisis. An agreement has twice been reached by M. Tsvetkovitch, the Yugoslav Prime Minister, and Dr. Matchek, the Croat leader ; their efforts have been nullified by the refusal of the Regency to ratify their decisions. Dr. Matchek now hopes to meet M. Tsvetkovitch for a third time ; and in a remarkable interview published in the Mews Chronicle this week he states clearly both the reason why-their previous efforts have failed, and the serious consequences which will follow yet another failure. " The power against an agreement is stronger than M. Tsvetko- vitch," says Dr. Matchek ; and he asserts that the ruling Serbian clique in Yugoslavia, represented by the Regent, Prince Paul, would prefer to reduce Yugoslavia to a purely Serb State to sharing its power with the Croats in a Federal regime. Such an attitude can only have disastrous results for Serbs and Croats alike ; Dr. Matchek states that, if it is maintained, the Croats will have no choice but to exploit the international situation by opposing whichever group of powers the Yugoslav Government finally decides to support.